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SubjectRe: GPL and Linux kernel related question...

Sorry David,

I jumped the gun........
On Thu, 6 Jul 2000, David Woodhouse wrote:

>
> hiroyama73@hotmail.com said:
> > when opening linux/drivers/mtd/nftl.c, I read :
> > /*
> > LEGAL NOTE: The NFTL format is patented by M-Systems. They have
> > granted a licence for its use with their DiskOnChip products:
>
> > I thought that all the sources were submitted to GPL... I may be wrong
> > could anyone explain me that ? Thanks in advance.
>
> The code is under GPL. Sorry, I should have made that more explicit. I'll
> submit a patch to Linus to correct that.
>
> The licence referred to in that passage is a licence to use the algorithms
> involved in reading/writing the NFTL format, which are patented in some
> parts of the world. The owner of the patent has granted a licence to use
> those algorithms on certain devices, and there is no restriction on "copying,
> distribution or modification" of the code - which would conflict with the GPL.
>
> The only restriction is on _use_ of the code, which is not exclusive with
> the GPL - in the same way as the ISDN code is under GPL even though you need
> telco approval to use it in most countries, and the ISDN approval even becomes
> invalid if you modify the code - which is a restriction far more likely to
> breach the terms of the GPL than the FTL and NFTL patents.
>
>
> --
> dwmw2
>
>
>
> -
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>

Andre Hedrick
The Linux ATA/IDE guy


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